A special thank you to our speakers
Joshua Chao, Ph.D.
Senior Analyst, VC at PitchBook
Joshua Chao is a Senior Analyst at PitchBook, where he covers the venture capital industry and private-backed companies in the biotechnology & pharmaceutical industry. He also produces thematic analyst notes on life sciences, fund managers, and market ecosystems and contributes to quarterly venture reports. Prior to joining PitchBook, Chao was a venture coach at Blackstone LaunchPad, where he advised startups and supported entrepreneurship and innovation programs, and a fellow at Flagship Pioneering, where he was part of a team of entrepreneurial scientists developing first-in-class biotechnology ventures.
Chao holds a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Duke University and a doctorate in regenerative medicine from the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is based in PitchBook’s Seattle office.
Head of Venture Capital Relationship Management atSilicon Valley Bank
Rob Freelen is head of venture capital relationship management for Silicon Valley Bank. The VCRM team serves as the primary point of contact for the SVB’s most active VC investors in the US. The specialized team coordinates across SVB and SVB Capital to deliver the full platform of commercial banking: venture debt, corporate cash management, foreign exchange, investment banking, private banking and wealth planning. Rob has served SVB in a variety of roles since 2005.
Rob opened the Southern California office in Santa Monica and was responsible its operations, growing the business each year of his tenure there. He was also SVB's first chief of staff and the head of business development for the Life Science and Healthcare Practice in the western states. Rob first worked with SVB Private Bank and Wealth Advisory, providing financial solutions to VC and entrepreneurial clients. During his years with SVB, he’s worked with hundreds of clients and has led debt transactions for more than 100 public and private companies.
Earlier in his career, Rob worked with a Northern California startup and a San Francisco Bay Area asset management firm. Rob earned a bachelor’s degree from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. He spends his free time cycling and playing outdoors with his three young daughters on California trails and beaches.
General Counsel at NVCA
Jeff Farrah serves as General Counsel at NVCA, where he advocates before Congress, the White House, and agencies for pro-entrepreneurship policies and leads in-house legal matters for the association, including management of the NVCA Model Legal Documents. He loves working at the intersection of venture, public policy, and the law. Jeff concurrently serves as Treasurer of VenturePAC, the political action committee of NVCA.
Prior to joining NVCA, Jeff was Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation where he advised Chairman John Thune (now Senate Majority Whip) and members of the committee on technology, telecommunications, and internet policy. His committee perch gave him an invaluable perspective on how policymakers think about technology and its impact on American life. Previously, Jeff served as General Counsel to US Senator Scott Brown, serving as Brown’s top legal and policy advisor on a variety of issues. During the 2012 presidential election, Jeff was a member of Governor Romney’s Trade Policy Advisory Committee. Prior to the Senate, Jeff was an attorney at a leading Washington, DC law firm for international trade matters. His trade law experience includes World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement and trade remedies cases before US agencies.
VP of Marketing at Affinity
Paul Ross runs marketing at Affinity, the relationship Intelligence Platform for dealmakers that serves over 1600 venture capital and private equity clients worldwide. Prior to this Paul has driven growth at Sentieo, an investment research platform provider, and helped Alteryx grow from $10M to $100M in revenue.